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BCRF Mourns Loss of Longtime Investigator Dr. George Vande Woude

By BCRF | April 16, 2021

Dr. Vande Woude was a luminary in the field who championed collaboration

It is with deep sadness that BCRF shares news of the passing of Dr. George Vande Woude, a BCRF investigator since 2004. He was 85.

Dr. Vande Woude, an internationally recognized leader in genomic research, will be remembered for his many contributions to our understanding of cancer biology. Among the many highlights of his distinguished career, he is credited with the discovery of the MET oncogene, which was shown to promote breast cancer metastasis and resistance to therapy in patients with aggressive breast cancers. The MET oncogene has been the central focus of his BCRF research with co-investigators Drs. Carrie Graveel and Ilan Tsarfaty.

Drs. Graveel and Tsarfaty offered the following rememberance of Dr. Vande Woude:

“George had such a tremendous passion for discovery and was always focused on the impact our work could have on alleviating the burden of suffering caused by cancer. He instilled in those that trained and collaborated with him a true sense of urgency, and he was unlike any other in his ability to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of those around him. While George was a stellar scientist, perhaps his greatest gift was his warm and generous heart. For those of us who were fortunate enough to have worked alongside George, we will be forever grateful for the impact our dear friend had on our lives.”

Dr. Vande Woude embodied the spirit of collaboration instilled by Dr. Larry Norton and the late Evelyn H. Lauder when they founded BCRF in 1993. His 50-year scientific career included 28 years at the National Cancer Institute before he became founding research director of the Van Andel Research Institute, where he was integral to establishing a dynamic research and training environment.

“George had such a profound impact on science and scientists that his activities in BCRF will be deeply missed, along with his vibrant personality and all-embracing spirit,” Dr. Norton said. “We mourn his passing just as we celebrate his considerable and influential achievements.”